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MATAMOROS, Mariano (mah tahtoo'ros), Mexican patriot, died in Valladolid, 3 February, 1814. Nothing certain is known of the place and date of his birth nor of his early life. He is first mentioned in the beginning of 1810 as substitute parish priest of Jantetelco, a small village south of Mexico. He was often molested by royalist troops, and after the rising of Hidalgo, as he was suspected of sympathy with the revolutionary movement, an order of arrest was issued against him. He now fled to Izucar, where, on 16 December, 1811, he joined Morelos (q. v.), who, recognizing military genius in him, appointed him colonel. He justified Morelos's good opinion by displaying talent and courage, and speedily acquired popularity among the troops and influence in the general council. He accompanied Morelos on his expedition to Tasco and in the heroic defence of Cuautla, where, to obtain provisions, he broke through the besieging army on 21 April, 1812, with only 100 men ; but, on his return with supplies six days later, he was defeated. When Morelos evacuated Cuautla early in May, he was joined by Matamoros, who was ordered to reorganize his division in Izucar, promoted brigadier, took part in the capture of Oajaca on 25 November, and was sent to the south, where he defeated the royalist Lambrini at Tonale on 19 April, 1813, and was made lieutenant-general. In October he won the victory of San Agustin del Palmar, where the Spaniards lost 215 killed and 368 prisoners. He now established his quarters at Tehuicingo till he was ordered by Morelos to co-operate in the attack on Valladolid, where the allied forces took position on 22 December, 1813. On the next day their attack on the city was repulsed, during the night of the 24th their camp surprised by Hurbide. and their forces dispersed. Matamoros reorganized some of the troops and took position in the estate of Puruaran, about sixty miles from Valladolid, where Morelos, against Matamoros's advice, resolved to wait for the enemy. Matamoros, who had been intrusted with the command, organized his troops, and on 15 January, 1814, they were attacked by overwhelming forces under Hurbide and Llano and totally routed, and Matamoros, defending the retreat of Morelos with great personal bravery, was captured. He was carried to Valladolid, and, after trial and degradation from holy orders, executed in the market-place. He was one of the most active and successful leaders of the insurrection, gifted with a military talent, of pure and noble character, and his memory is highly honored in Mexico. His bones were placed with those of Hidalgo and Morelos in the cathedral of Mexico, and his name has been given to two towns and to districts in several states.
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